Beavers renew rivalry with Mavericks in Mankato
BSU Men’s Hockey travels south to face long-time rival, Minnesota State
The Bemidji State University Men’s Hockey begins a four-game road trip this weekend and will travel to Mankato, Minn., to face the Minnesota State University, Mankato Mavericks at Mayo Clinic HSEC.
The Beavers (4-6-0, 3-3-0 CCHA) battle their rival Mavericks (4-3-1, 2-0-0 CCHA) for a two-game Central Collegiate Hockey Association series beginning Friday, Nov. 17 at 7:07 p.m., with game two to follow Saturday at 6:07 p.m.
The Bemidji State-Minnesota State rivalry is one of the longest in college hockey and has totaled 143 games spanning 49 years.
The Beavers and Mavericks first did battle in 1974 and Minnesota State holds a slight edge over BSU with a 67-60-16 record in the all-time series.
Home ice advantage has favored the home team in the series with Bemidji State 38-27-5 when hosting the Mavericks. However, when the Beavers travel to Mankato, they are just 21-39-11.
Bemidji State got the best of MSU in last year’s season series going 3-1-0 with two overtime victories over the Mavericks.
Beaver head coach Tom Serratore is 20-44-5 when coaching against the Mavericks in his 23 seasons at the helm of the BSU Men’s Hockey program.
Fifth-year captain and Mankato, Minn., native Kyle Looft shown up to play against his hometown team and score both game-winning overtime goals in last year’s overtime meetings.
Looft has seen the most ice against the Mavericks, playing in 18 career games versus Minnesota State. He has posted three points off two goals and an assist while Eric Martin (3a) and Jakub Lewandowski (2g-1a) have also tallied three points against the Mavericks.
Sophomore Mattias Sholl has seen the most time in net against Minnesota State and in eight starts, he is 3-5-0 with a 2.92 goals against average and .903 save percentage.
Sholl has not played since Oct. 27 due to an injury however, with senior Gavin Enright taking his place in between the pipes.
Enright is 0-1-0 with one start and two appearances versus the Mavericks and has posted a 3.75 goals against average and .857 save percentage.
Bemidji State remains out of the USAToday/The Rink Live and USCHO.com top-20 national polls while the Mavericks are receiving votes in the USCHO.com poll but unranked the USAToday/The Rink Live poll.
The Beavers are coming off a series split with Michigan Technological University last wekend at Sanford Center.
After falling 4-2 in the series opener Friday night, the Beavers found themselves down 4-0 with 26:22 before staging the largest comeback in its DI era scoring six unanswered to defeat the Huskies 6-4 in regulation.
Looft helped spark the historic comeback factoring in on three of the Beavers’ six goals tallying two goals and an assist. He was named the CCHA Defenseman of the Week for the second time this season after finishing with five points (3g-2a) over the weekend.
Six total Beavers recorded two or more points in the series finale versus the Huskies after the Beavers scored a season-high six goals.
Looft has been red-hot through the first 10 games this season. He leads CCHA blueliners and is tied for third among all skaters in the league with 12 points (5g-7a). He is tied for fifth among DI defensemen in points and second in goals.
He is also one of the best in his defensive zone, carrying a +5 rating on the ice into the weekend to tie for seventh in the CCHA and is eighth in the league with 17 blocked shots.
Looft has recorded a point in the last four games totaling seven points (3g-4a) and has recorded a point in seven of the Beavers’ 10 games this season including three multi-point efforts.
Fellow fifth-year senior Carter Jones follows him with a point in three consecutive games and has four points (4a) over the last three games. He had two assists in the Beavers’ last game against MTU for his second career multi-assist effort.
Sophomore Lleyton Roed leads the team with seven goals and has totaled nine points for second on the team. He is tied for second in the CCHA in goals and tied for 10th in DI.
Roed paces the Beavers with eight points in eight games and his seven goals are tied for the CCHA lead and tied for sixth in Division I.
18 different Beavers have recorded a point and have seen 10 different goal scorers.
18 of the Beavers’ 27 goals this season have been scored by underclassmen.
2023-24 is the 68th season of Bemidji State Men’s Hockey and 25th in Division I. The Beavers are 1,175-690-150 (.624) in 67 seasons and 389-396-102 (.501) in Division I.
Head coach Tom Serratore enters his 23rd season at the helm of the Bemidji State Men’s Hockey program. He is 372-350-97 (.515) in his coaching career.
Serratore stands 12th in career victories among active head coaches in Division I and his career winning percentage of .515 is 17th.